Situated in South East Asia and sandwiched between two giants, India and China, Nepal is a tiny nation famous for its diverse geography and cultural fascination. Home to more than a thousand peaks over 6000 meters and eight of the fourteen eight-thousanders, trekking in Nepal is an iconic activity.
The rugged terrain constitutes a diverse range of landscapes along with a dense set of rich biodiversity. Traveling in Nepal also gives you in-depth exposure to the cultural vividness of the country. Due to all these features, Nepal trekking is also known as the “trekker’s paradise.”
Except for Indians, citizens from all other nations require a Visa to enter Nepal. There are two ways to obtain a Visa for Nepal. You can either issue a Visa on arrival or apply at the Nepalese embassy/consulate located in your region.
Currently, there is only one international airport in Nepal. All foreigners arriving in Nepal will arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport located in Kathmandu. Here, you will visit the Department of Immigration office to get your“On Arrival” Visa. You can either complete an application beforehand at http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/ or fill it right at the table.
For the alternate method, you can simply visit a nearby embassy/consulate and complete a few steps to obtain a Visa for Nepal. Keep in mind that during peak tourism season, the queue for Visa on arrival can be long. It is better to issue a Visa by the latter method if you want to avoid long queues.
The fee costs of a tourist Visa for Nepal are:
- 30 USD for 15 days
- 50 USD for 30 days
- 125 USD for 90 days
You can extend your Visa validity by a minimum of 15 days, which will cost you $3 per day. Children under ten years of age and citizens of SAARC nations(except Afghanistan) are eligible for Gratis Visa (Visa for free).
Top Trekking Destinations
The Himalayan belt covers the entire upper north region of Nepal from east to west. Within the various mountainous regions are thousands of trails taking trekkers to beautiful Nepal trekking destinations.
Some of the top trekking destinations are: Nepal Trekking
- Everest Base Camp
- Annapurna Circuit
- Gokyo Lake
- Annapurna Base Camp
- Mardi Himal
- Everest View
- Langtang valley
- Manaslu region
- Ghorepani Poon Hill
- Pikey Peak
- Everest Three Passes
- Tilicho Lake
- Upper Mustang
- Upper Dolpo
Best Season for Trekking
The four seasons that occur in Nepal are spring, summer/monsoon, autumn, and winter. Spring and autumn occurring from March to May and August to November respectively are the most suitable time for trekking. These months have the best weather conditions and temperature for trekking. There is the least amount of precipitation during these seasons, and the temperature is moderately warm. Clear skies allow for maximum visibility. Moreover, the trails are dry, which makes trekking easier and safer.
Summer and winter seasons have somewhat harsh conditions for trekking. Both these seasons have high precipitation. Most trails are covered in snow during winter, and most high-altitude areas of the Himalayasremain closed due to safety issues. However, there are a few locations that lie in the rain shadow areaand are perfect for traveling during summer. Also, for winter, short and easy treks are the bestoptions.
Food and Accommodation during Trek
Most of the popular trekking trails are well-built, and you can find hotels and lodges (teahouses). The number and quality of facilities decline as you travel further into remote and high-altituderegions. These lodges and teahouses provide accommodation along with food. Rooms are generally small but have good enough beds and blankets with shared bathrooms.
Popular dishes served at these lodges include Dal Bhat, Momo, Noodles, and Pasta. A handful of remote regions do not have any accommodation or food infrastructures available for trekkers. For treks to such regions, you have to organize camping facilities.
Trekking in Nepal traveling with tour operators saves you from the hassle of booking rooms and arranging meals for the trek. They also provide camping services with all the necessary preparations. During peak trekking seasons, finding a room is difficult as all hotels are fully occupied. Trekkers also share rooms during such circumstances to help each other. You may also resort to such options if you cannot find accommodation.
Health Issues and Travel Insurance
Nepal trekking is a challenging activity that demands physical exertion. Some common issues during trekking include joint sprains, mild illness, fractures, overwhelming pain, and altitude sickness. Out of these common issues, altitude sickness is the most serious condition.
Altitude sickness is an illness that affects the body when it fails to adapt to the altitude. This usually happens above 3,000 meters of elevation. Some common symptoms of altitude sickness are nausea and headache, vomiting,loss of appetite, insomnia, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, swelling of hands and face, shortness of breath, and breathing irregularity.
Altitude sickness does not have an immediate cure but only a temporary treatment. Thus, the best thing to do is prevent it. Some easy ways to prevent altitude sickness are maintaining a steady pace while ascending altitude, hydrating your body, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, etc. If, in any case, you experience any kind of symptoms of altitude sickness, stop trekking immediately and seek medical assistance.
Emergency medications such as Diamox are temporary treatments to ease symptoms. If your condition worsens, you should descend back to low altitudes.
It is highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance if you are planning to trek in Nepal. Travel insurance helps you cover costs that may arise during unfortunate times. Especially while trekking around high altitude regions, you are at the risk of medical issues. Travel insurance can help you cover costs for emergency evacuations and medical treatments.
There are a few essentials you require for trekking. These gears come in handy and help you trek easier. Some common trekking equipmentincludes:
- Trekking boots (waterproof)
- Trekking shirts
- Trekking trousers
- Jackets (Down and fleece, additional heavy jackets depending on the season)
- Trekking Poles
- Solar Torch
- Water bottles
- Water purifiers
- Trekking socks
- First aid medical kit
- Duffle bag and Backpack
Trekking Field staff
Nepal trekking field staff refers to guides and porters. Guides are qualified personnel who navigates you through the correct path on the trek, and porters help you carry your load. Guides and porters aregenerally selected from local regions. They are trained by the Government of Nepal and have obtained the license to carry out their tasks legally. They can only obtain a license by taking part in a month-long training with Trekking Agencies Associations Nepal(TAAN) and Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHAM).
Trekking in Nepal allows you to immerse yourself into the marvelous blend of natural and cultural beauty. This adventurous activity gives you a fantastic experience of the immense beauty Nepal holds. Thus, you should try trekking in the Himalayan country at least once in your life!